Chicago Sun-Times

NBA's concussion policy keeps C.J. Watson out

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C.J. Watson was ready to play in Monday's 90-79 win over the Hawks at the United Center, but was reminded shortly before the game of the NBA's new concussion policy.

The NBA instituted a more stringent concussion protocol this season which prevents players from playing the day after experiencing concussion symptoms.

Watson was hit in the head late in the third quarter of Saturday's home loss to the Nets. Watson told the Sun-Times that he found out he had a concussion later that night.

According to Watson, Monday was the first day he didn't experience any post-concussion symptoms which included migraines on Saturday and Sunday.

He expects to play Wednesday against the Bucks.

"I was going to play today but there's a new league rule that concussions you can't play the next day or something," Watson said.

"I did yesterday [have post-concussion symptoms] and the day of and now I'm fine."

Watson primarily plays as the Bulls' backup point guard but has started eight games in place of an injured Derrick Rose.

As a starter he's averaging 13.6 points and 4.9 assists per game, but his value is as a sparkplug to the Bulls' second unit.

"We miss C.J. but the one thing about our second unit guys always step up," backup forward Taj Gibson said. "Mike James did a terrific job early in the game just stepping up big, getting big assists, running the team, leading us."

James and John Lucas split time backing up Rose on Monday. The two also saw time on the floor together. Lucas scored 10 points. James had seven points and two assists.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth Gruen published on February 20, 2012 7:27 PM.

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